Torrey, Richard (Rich Torrey)

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Torrey, Richard (Rich Torrey)

Personal

Son of Bill Torrey (a professional hockey player); married; children: two.

Addresses

Home—Shoreham, NY. Agent—Ronnie Ann Herman, Herman Agency Inc., 350 Central Park W., New York, NY 10025. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Cartoonist, illustrator, and author of children's books. Creator of greeting cards for Recycled Paper Greetings.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

(Under name Rich Torrey) American Hartland (cartoon collection), New American Library (New York, NY), 1986.

(Under name Rich Torrey) Entering Hartland (cartoon collection), New American Library (New York, NY), 1986.

Beans Baker, Number Five, Random House (New York, NY), 2001.

Beans Baker Bounces Back, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.

Beans Baker's Best Shot, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

ILLUSTRATOR

Stephen Kramer, The Dark Zone: Adventures of the Black Hole Gang: Exploring the Secret World of Caves, Learning Triangle Press (New York, NY), 1998.

June Doolittle, All Aboard the Whistle-stop Train, Little Simon (New York, NY), 1999.

June Doolittle, Circus Train, Little Simon (New York, NY), 1999.

June Doolittle, Red Caboose, Little Simon (New York, NY), 1999.

June Doolittle, The Train That Rode on Water (with stickers), Little Simon (New York, NY), 1999.

Mary Margaret Perez-Mercado, Splat!, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Catherine Lukas, Rosie the Riveter, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2000.

Catherine Lukas, Time Traveling (with stickers), Little Simon (New York, NY), 2000.

Page Sakelaris, Giggle Belly, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Megan McDonald, Wild West, Golden Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Cathy Hapka, Clue School: The Case of the Missing Cat, Innovative Kids, 2006.

Pam Calvert, Clue School: Mystery at the Ballpark, Innovative Kids, 2007.

Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including Highlights, KidCity, and Inside Sports. Creator, under name Rich Torrey, of syndicated comic strips Hartland and Pete and Clete.

Sidelights

Beginning his career as the creator of the internationally syndicated "Hartland" comic strip, Richard Torrey

is an illustrator as well as the author of several books for children. He has written and illustrated the popular "Beans Baker" series for elementary-grade beginning readers, and his colorful, cartoon-style artwork has appeared in several books for beginning readers. Torrey is the son of well-known professional hockey player Bill Torrey, and lives in New York State with his wife and two children.

Beginning readers meet Torrey's engaging character Beans Baker in Beans Baker, Number Five. Beans loves sports, and when baseball season begins, he hopes to wear number 21 in honor of his favorite professional player, Roberto Clemente. When he is given a jersey with unlucky number 5 instead, the boy avoids playing for fear that his number will bring him only bad luck. Ultimately, Beans learns that superstitions are sometimes groundless: encouraged by his teammates, he plays well while the player with the "lucky" number 21 fumbles on the field. In Beans Baker Bounces Back Beans becomes distracted in his studies because of an upcoming Robo-Pogo championship. Calling Beans Baker, Number Five "a satisfying read for beginners," Booklist contributor Gillian Engberg added that Torrey's text is "well paced" and captures "the fun tension" of baseball.

Soccer is the sport of choice when Beans joins best friend Chester in Beans Baker's Best Shot. Here Beans is sidelined after a wild kick from his friend results in a fractured foot. Immobilized by a cast, Beans must sit out the soccer championship, and when his teammates razz Chester for injuring his friend, it looks like Chester will also not be joining the team for the important game. Ultimately, Beans encourages his friend to take the field, and Chester scores the winning goal. In Booklist, Hazel Rochman praised Torrey's "colorful animated drawings" for reflecting the excitement felt by the young sports enthusiasts. Torrey's "simply written book introduces several weighty themes," wrote Mary Hazelton in a School Library Journal review of Beans Baker's Best Shot: "blame, guilt and forgiveness, friendship, and teamwork."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of Beans Baker, Number Five, p. 1569; August 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Beans Baker's Best Shot, p. 94.

School Library Journal, October, 2006, Mary Hazelton, review of Beans Baker's Best Shot, p. 129.

ONLINE

Herman Agency Web site,http://www.hermanagencyinc.com/ (May 15, 2008), "Richard Torrey."